A benefit of the U.S. higher education system is that a student can choose from a variety of institutional types. If you are considering transferring from your current U.S. school to another U.S. school then you will need to maintain communication with both your current school and the school to which you decide to transfer. All SEVIS records are maintained electronically. Your current school is the only school that has access to your SEVIS record until you complete the transfer process.
In compliance with Board of Regents policies 4.1.6 and 4.3.4., any student applying to Georgia State University must provide verification of their lawful presence in the United Status before their admission to the university can be finalized.Transfer students must submit a transfer clearance form, completed by current school international advisor, before they can register classes at Georgia State University. The transfer clearance form must indicate you are in F-1/J-1 status and your SEVIS record will be transferred to Georgia State University before the semester start date. Please refer to the following Transfer Process for details:
- After you have been fully admitted to Georgia State University and submitted complete financial documents to ISSS, you can request your SEVIS record to be transferred to Georgia State University. An International Admission (IA) Hold will be placed on your account until your immigration status is verified by ISSS.
- The international advisor at your current school must complete a transfer clearance form to be submitted to International Services by fax or mail.
The immigration advisor will set a release date for your SEVIS record based on the last day of the semester in the current semester and the first day of classes at Georgia State. If you are traveling outside of the country between transferring from schools, you will need to request a new I-20 from Georgia State at least 2 weeks before your departure. You will need the new (transfer pending) I-20/DS-2019 to re-enter the U.S. legally.
Once we receive your transfer clearance form by fax or mail, ISSS will remove the IA hold from your account in order for you to register.
Once your SEVIS record has been released from your current school, they no longer have access to your SEVIS record. Georgia State will have the ability to update your SEVIS record and print a new I-20 for you upon registration for classes.
Deadlines/Time Considerations for Transferring Schools
1. Transferring After Completion of Studies (Graduation) or OPT Period
You can only transfer your F-1 status from one school to another if you have maintained a legal status. If you are completing your studies or Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, then you only have a 60-day grace period to fully complete the transfer process. The 60-day period begins on the day after the last day of finals in the term in which you complete your studies, or the day after your EAD (OPT) card expires. You must begin classes at the new school in the next possible semester and within 5 months of completion at the old school or the expiration of the OPT.
For example: If your EAD (OPT) expires on March 15th, then you must have fully completed the transfer process (have a new I-20 issued to you) within the 60-day grace period (May 14th). You must begin classes at the new school within 5 months of the time that your OPT expires. If you fail to complete the transfer within 60 days, or to enroll in classes within 5 months, then you will violate your F-1 status.
2. Transferring Before Completion of Studies
In order for a student to transfer from one school to another in the middle of their degree program, the student must have maintained their status until the transfer is complete. The circumstances for each student vary significantly. For this reason, the student should meet with their immigration advisor to determine the timeline for completing the transfer within immigration laws. In every case, the student must be enrolled at the new school within 5 months of the last day of attendance at their old school.